Tag Archives: Energy

Electricity from ordinary sewage waste: Microbial Fuel Factory Cells

microbial fuel cell

Barbados should give MFC’s a look!

by Robert D. Lucas, Ph.D.
Food biotechnologist.

Recently there has been much talk about the diverse means available of obtaining energy from renewable sources (solar, wave, wind as-well-as bio-diesel/gas). However, no mention has been made locally of the use of microbial fuel/factory cells (MFC’s). MFC’s are devices that convert chemical energy into electrical energy as do batteries, via the use of micro-organisms.

Unlike batteries, MFC’s can sustain their output of electricity as long as the chemical input is maintained. Most bacteria are electrochemically inactive and cannot be used in MFC’s. Those bacteria which are capable of producing an electric current are called exoelectrogens. Exoelectrogens, when placed into a suitable medium, transfer electrons (negatively charged particles) to an electrode which has been inserted into the medium. This flow of electrons is facilitated by an active electron transport system, which carries electrons directly from the microbe’s respiratory system to the anode ((negatively charged electrode).

“MFC’s do not depend on sunlight to be able to function. There is no need to have storage facilities for storing electricity as is the case with solar energy.”

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment

Why did our Minister of Works and Transport endorse this technology company? Does he own stock?

BREAKING HOT NEWS: Company paid up to $100,000 to certain websites to promote this stock! Did they pay anything to Minister of Transport John Boyce or any other Bajan? See end of story for details.

“Utilizing the Start FEED unit in Barbados on our government vehicles will result in tremendous fuel costs savings, in addition to major reductions of toxic automobile emissions and assist the government in accomplishing the goal of a cleaner and healthier Barbados.”

Hon. Mr. John Boyce, Minister of Works and Transport as quoted in a press release and stock prospectus for Great Wall Builders Ltd.

Did Barbados Minister John Boyce receive any gift or benefit from Start Technologies or Great Wall Builders Ltd.?

A new stock is in play. Press releases and a stock prospectus were sent out hyping new technology that is claimed to improve fuel efficiency by 20%. The miracle aftermarket gadget “uses a high-voltage electric current to break long-chain hydrocarbon molecules into shorter, lighter more volatile molecules.”

Why didn’t Detroit or Toyota think of this? Because they are stupid, that’s why! In 100 years of internal combustion engine development nobody has thought of this…

except… there have been many similar devices in history making the same claims about using electric current to modify the properties of fuel. There are even websites where engineers debunk this type of claim that electricity will change the molecular structure of fuel and result in significant mileage increases.

Not to worry though: the Barbados Minister of Transport attests that the technology works. And it’s not just Bajan citizen John Boyce saying this: he is a Minister of the Government of Barbados and representative of the entire country, so his claim must be true… right? It must be because the credibility of our country and the government rests upon Mr. Boyce’s endorsement.

Some engineers and scientists disagree with Minister Boyce. They say that claims of 20% increase in mileage are not scientifically possible and that these devices are scams…

“The unburnt fuel in the exhaust (even before the cat) represents 1 or 2% at most of the input fuel. If you factor in the energy in the CO emissions, the figure still only rises to 3% maximum. So even if the fuel “saving” device could totally eliminate unburnt fuel and CO in the exhaust, and give an absolutely 100% complete burn, you would only save 3% of fuel. Claims that 10%, 20% or even more of the fuel is not burnt and escapes into the exhaust are entirely false…”

From Tony’s Guide to Fuel saving gadgets

Why are my warning antennae up and pulsating?

The press release by GWBU reports that the Barbados Ministry of Transport and Works tested this new technology over a 2 month period and confirmed the claims of the company. Imagine what a 20% fuel saving could do for the world! With that kind of savings the West could tell the Arabs to shove it where the sun doan shine. That would be the end of the UK’s travel duty. Cruise ships will flock to Bim because they will use 20% less fuel.

This is big. Really big… and the stock price soared!

So the stock price of GWBU must go up… and up it went! Nine cents a share to a buck seventy three in a few of weeks!

I wonder if Transport Minister Boyce or his family members or close friends have any of this stock?

Good. That’s great to see entrepreneurship and progressive capitalism at its best: making money and saving the planet.

Hey… Minister Boyce… we are saving the planet with this device, right?

Just a few questions Minister Boyce. We know you’ll take the time to answer them because although your government promised to implement Freedom of Information Legislation within the first 100 days of office, your government didn’t do that in almost five years because you were really busy with (fill in the answer here.)

But the DLP government is committed to transparency and accountability – with or without legislation – so we know that you will take the time to answer a few questions…

Dear Minister Boyce:

1/ Did you or your family members have any GWBU stock? How many shares? Waddya pay per share? Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Science, Technology

Smart Meters are Surveillance Devices – Data already used by police

In today’s “things I never thought of before” department, our old friend “H” sends the above video to BFP. After watching it twice I had to think whether or not I care that the authorities could access the smart meter data and gain a window into my boring life.

After a bit of thought, my answer is “Yes. I do care.”

No smart meter for me, thanks!

Cliverton

Here’s the letter that the chap talks about in the video… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Energy, Human Rights

Green Antilles – Excellent Caribbean environmental website

We’ve added Green Antillies blog to our sidebar links and we hope you enjoy the news, stories and links as much as we do. Our friend Thérèse Yarde takes a little bit of Caribbean environmental news, mixes in some alternative energy features and stories about wildlife, reefs and agriculture to create a superb daily read.

If you are interested in Caribbean environment, nature conservation and energy, Green Antillies.com is for you!

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Energy, Environment, Nature, Wildlife

High-wire Robbery by Barbados Light & Power

By Orlando Burke

My most recent electric bill showed a significant increase. My energy charges totaled $252.50 while the fuel charge was $549.16. If paid before the discount date, the Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) would reward me with a discount amounting to around $30.00. I will not be hooked by such insignificant bait.

Originally, fuel was an input in the production process of the BL&P; now it is both an input, and an add-on. An apt analogy would be the case of a baker selling a loaf of bread and charging extra for the flour used to make it.

Currently, Barbados is experiencing challenging economic times. A period characterized by lay-offs, calls for Unions to exercise wage restraint, and the common sight of persons having to leave items at the cash register in the supermarket.

I am concerned that in such an environment, the BL&P, a private monopoly appears comfortable in recording a profit of $54 million. While it is accepted that investment in a new plant facility, as alluded to by an official of BL&P in the Nation Newspaper, Sunday Sun edition of 28th August, 2011 maybe necessary over the long term, there is still no justification for the super-profits recorded by the Company. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Energy

LPG prices up Sunday midnight, but we’re not supposed to know until 7pm

Barbados Government Information Service: This press release EMBARGOED UNTIL 7:00 P.M Sunday February 20

LPG PRICES UP AGAIN

There has been a slight increase in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

Effective midnight, Sunday, February 20, the retail cost of LPG will be increased in keeping with the imported price of petroleum products.  As a consequence, the 100-pound cylinder will now be retailed at $155.02 – an increase of 42 cents.  The 25-pound cylinder will now cost $41.40, up by 11 cents; while the 20-pound cylinder will now be retailed at $33.12 – an increase of 9 cents. (AR/BGIS)

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Filed under Barbados Government, Energy, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Rawdon Adams on the Barbados Light & Power fire sale.

Rawdi Adams says we haven’t had a real debate yet

Rawdon ‘Rawdi’ Adams is the grandson of nation-builder Grantley Adams (With Rawdi in the above photo… look at the eyes! the chin, the nose, the smile!) and the son of our second Prime Minister Tom Adams. Rawdi has much to say about Barbados and Bajan politics these days.

Will he be returning home anytime soon? In light of the disastrous split in the current BLP leadership that question has been coming up lately at a few rum shops. Never say never, you know!

Rawdi published an opinion piece at The Barbados Advocate and we’re going to repeat it in full here. You really should go to the Advocate to read it, but given that paper’s history of erasing the truth and their archives we’re going to leave the whole article up here for the record.

But please, visit the Barbados Advocate to read the piece and then leave your comment here if you desire.

Thoughts on the BL&P offer

by Rawdon Adams

1/7/2011

Come January 24, Barbados Light & Power Holdings (BL&P) is set to pass into foreign hands.

In an era when some nations block foreign takeovers of even yogurt makers on the grounds that they are “strategic assets” (as France did when Pepsi wooed Danone in 2005) it is surprising to see the truly strategic BL&P up for sale to a foreign buyer with so little reaction from the Barbados Government. It does, after all, control nearly one quarter of the company’s equity via the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).

This is not an ideological position (as was the case with the strategic yogurt). Nor is it a chauvinistic one – BL&P is a utility which has already spent long periods under Canadian control. Rather, it is about voluntarily relinquishing, or potentially relinquishing in the absence of safeguards, powers to optimally balance public good against private, monopolistic enterprise in the furtherance of national development. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Economy, Energy, Politics

Independence Day: Emera wants 100% of Barbados Light & Power

Should we sell Barbados Light & Power to the Canadians?

Good for Barbados, or selling the family silver?

by West Side Davie with Cliverton

Independence Day is a fitting time for Bajans to consider the difference between dreams and goals, and the difference between blind celebration and a grounded perspective on reality. For too long we have celebrated November 30th with much flag waving and remembrance of the heady days of the 1960’s – but little serious consideration given to where the good ship Barbados is sailing now and how the machinery is holding up.

We dance and sing about how we love the ship and what a good ship it is (and it is too!) – but I fear we’ve been putting off some needed maintenance and refitting because it’s easier and cheaper to slap on a coat of paint and say “It still looks good!”

Indeed, it could be said that Independence Day has become somewhat of a coat of paint administered annually to make us feel good about ourselves. Or, perhaps Independence Day is like a shot of rum for the masses so they won’t notice that we’ve just mortgaged another part of the ship to keep food on the table and fuel in the tanks.

Friends, if you borrow money to put food on the table and fuel in the tank, you’ll soon lose your ship as you sell it off piece by piece while the machinery deteriorates for lack of care.

And that is why I approach Emera’s offer to purchase 100% of Barbados Light & Power with some trepidation and perhaps some guilt too. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Energy

Japanese company shows off Plastic to Oil machine

“This plastic is not garbage. It is oil, gasoline, kerosene.”

You must watch this video of a small machine – about the size of a large coffee maker – that converts plastic trash into usable oil. Akinori Ito’s company ‘Blest’ manufactures industrial plastic to oil conversion machines, but he wanted to make a small home version that anyone could use.

At US$9,000 a shot, the price will have to come down substantially – but do you remember what you paid for your first VCR or computer? It will happen.

Watch the video, read the article I’ve linked to below and dream of what might be if these machines become cost-effective to manufacture.

I’m getting chills of excitement watching the video and thinking about the future. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment, Science, Technology

Breaking: Barbados gasoline, diesel, kerosene prices up Sunday night

Death of a thousand cuts continues for the lower and middle economic classes

The Barbados government is raising retail prices at Midnight Sunday (ie: just before Monday morning). This was supposed to be kept secret until Sunday at 7pm, but somebody accidentally posted it online at the Barbados Government Information Service… or it was not an accident and the Barbados news media agreed to cooperate and keep the information secret until Sunday at 7pm. Take your choice, folks… but once it’s online it’s tough to put the toothpaste back into the tube!

Petrol: Up seven cents from $2.38 to $2.45

Diesel & Kerosene: Up eight cents to $2.23 and $1.45 respectively

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Filed under Barbados, Economy, Energy

Wind Turbines at Lamberts, Barbados – How close is too close?

A look at Barbados Light & Power’s proposal – Part 3

First, our apologies to those who sent us articles and materials 3 years ago…

Back in 2007 when BL&P’s proposed wind turbine installation at Lamberts was a relatively new topic, many good folks sent us information, articles and photos. We opened a folder, started some drafts and intended to do a series on the project, but then we had a computer meltdown that lost everything including the wind power files. One thing led to another and we never did recover the files or complete the wind power series – but Shona found the lost files last weekend!

It just goes to show you. In September 2007, Clive burned a CD with some article ideas and brought it to one of our Friday meetings. We took it home and it’s been sitting in a pile of “stuff” on the bookshelf for 3 years. (I know, I know. I really should do a better job of arranging my office.) On that CD was a copy of the wind power materials that we thought were wiped out by the crash.

Some of it might be a little dated now or eclipsed by events, but we hope that publishing the materials now will inspire some discussion in light of the current “Green Economy” push by the Barbados government and the renewed interest in the wind farm proposal at Lamberts. As you can see in the photo at the top where the turbines are creating a vapour trail much like an aircraft at high altitudes, wind turbines are not beneign – they have an impact upon people, environment, economies, land values and so much more.

Can we predict all impacts and mitigate the bad while keeping the good?

That’s a question that deserves open discussion by a well-informed populace.

Barbados Free Press previously published two three wind power articles that I can find right now.

1/ November 14, 2006 Barbados Wind Farm Question: What About Low Frequency Noise?

2/ September 5, 2009 Bizzy Williams asks BFP readers: “Should Barbados pursue wind generation of electricity… and if so, where?”

3/ October 5, 2009 William Kamkwamba – Building windmills from garbage, hope from nothing

Better late than never, here is our 3rd 4th article on Wind Power…

Recommended Distance for placement of wind turbines and the effect if sited in close proximity to dwellings. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment, Health

Bizzy Williams asks BFP readers: “Should Barbados pursue wind generation of electricity… and if so, where?”

UPDATED: September 21, 2010

A year ago Bizzy Williams asked a question here at Barbados Free Press. As we reconsider what Bizzy said at the time, we at BFP ask “What has really been done by anyone in Barbados during the past year to implement alternative energy sources?”

We can think of the bio-diesel project and one man who spent $60,000 equipping his home with solar and wind generated power but not much else. Perhaps it is time for Bajans to bite the bullet about wind farms, and then stand aside and let Bizzy and his team get on with it. Bizzy is a man who can actually make a large project like this happen. We can have another year of talk, talk, talk or let Bizzy do, do, do.

Here’s what Bizzy wrote a year ago and BFP’s original article…

Question to all bloggers. Should Barbados pursue wind generation of electricity? If so would the high ground to the East of the new recycling center at Vaucluse be the right place for the wind turbines to be erected or should Government grant BL&P permission to build a wind farm at Lamberts? Or should both sites be used?

Bizzy Williams, Williams Industries Inc.

Why not harness the wind?

100% Energy: Any man of Bizzy's age who can party until 8am has our respect!

100% Energy: Any man of Bizzy's age who can party until 8am has our respect!

Last Friday ‘Bizzy’ Williams visited Barbados Free Press and asked our readers about wind power. While there are concerns about where to put wind farms, we at Barbados Free Press believe that this country must embrace alternative energy sources – and that we need leaders like Bizzy to make it happen on a large enough scale to be effective.

Barbados has lots of energy just waiting to be captured: wind, sun & tidal – but without people like Bizzy who actually make things happen on a daily basis, this will be just so much talk. Who would you rather see implementing wind power in Barbados… one hundred politicians and bureaucrats in a room discussing what colour the towers should be, or Bizzy Williams and crew saying “Get de hell outta de way! Let’s get it done!” ?

Of course, we can’t just let business do what it wants without oversight to remind business folks that while profits are important (and they are), there are national interests that have to be satisfied. BFP has criticized Bizzy, brother Sir Charles and Williams Industries Inc. in the past when they made choices that were against the people and sometimes against the law. (We’re still waiting for Bizzy and company to apologize to Bajans for making a private beach at his Port St. Charles marina project.) – Editor’s note: Bizzy disputes this last sentence and says so in the comments section at the end of this article. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment

Message To The U.K. News Media: British High Commissioner To Barbados Is NOT Our “Barbados’ Head Of Trade”

“During the Trade Visit, Thomas had the opportunity to outline Akome’s services to Barbados’ Head of Trade, British High Commissioner Duncan Taylor. On his recommendation, Akome approached BICO.”

… from a press release published at 24dash.com: Cool Customer! Croydon Enterprise Business Helps Ice Cream Firm Slash Energy Bills

UK Press Release: BICO Ice Cream Gets A New Roof In Barbados

The story came to us as a press release and is actually a very interesting and informative piece about how Akome Energy helped BICO slash energy bills in half with a few changes.

Barbados Head Of Trade? I Don't Think So!

Barbados Head Of Trade? I Don't Think So!

But last I heard, Barbados is no longer a British Colony. We’ve had our own government and Trade Minister for at least a couple of weeks now.  😉

A small point, but it just shows you that some folks still have the same image of Barbados that they had 50 or 100 years ago.

Am I being too sensitive here, my friends?

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Energy, Environment, Politics, Technology

Barbados Government Kills Ethanol Proposal – Bizzy Williams Should Read BFP To Find Out Why He Was Turned Down

Any man of Bizzy's age who can party until 8am has our respect!

Any man of Bizzy's age who can party until 8am has our respect!

Chairman of Williams Industries, Ralph “Bizzy” Williams, says he is “disappointed” that permission was not granted to build an ethanol plant. He told the Midweek Nation in a telephone interview on Monday that he did not know why the project was denied…

… from the Nation article Letdown for Bizzy

The Arthur/Mottley BLP Government Pushed Ethanol For Corrupt Reasons

Everybody knows that Bizzy is a good business person and a decent human being. He and his family have worked hard and smart over the years to the point where Williams Industries and associated companies provide employment directly and indirectly for thousands of people. But business and making money is not all that defines Bizzy Williams.

Without going into details, we at BFP can assure you that Bizzy has a kind heart and does much good for people in a quiet manner. It is his way to help with a “hand up, not a hand out” and there are many who have benefited from his encouragement, mentoring and interest in helping people improve themselves and their lives. Once again, we can’t say much more than that, but some folks would be amazed if they knew ten percent of what Bizzy has done for ordinary people.

That’s Some Of The Good About Bizzy Williams – Now For Some Of The Bad…

Like all business people, Bizzy and his family tend to make choices that are good for their pocketbooks but might not be so good for the country, the environment and the poor taxpayers. No, we’re not saying that all business people are uncaring slash and burn artists or that the Williams family deliberately sets out to harm the country or people. We are saying that without effective oversight, accountability and the rule of law applied by a good government that is watching out for the citizens’ interests, business people make choices that benefit themselves first and sometimes are against the interests of ordinary citizens.

port-st-charles-barbados-beach

For example, when Bizzy Williams deliberately designed the Port St. Charles development to prevent ordinary Bajans from accessing the beach, he raised the value of the individual condos and made more profit.

Yup… Bizzy designed that delightful north beach area to be a private beach for the rich folks. Oh sure, you can crawl under the bridge and cut your feet all to pieces on the sharp stones and concrete of the breakwater and then arrive at the beach just ahead of the security guards who ask just what you think you’re doing and caution that if you put one foot above the high water mark they will drag your sorry black ass out of there. Yes friends, that is the welcome you’ll receive if you dare to set foot on the sand at Port St. Charles beach.

What should be a public beach. Your beach.

That was a design choice that Bizzy made and it was a darn good choice for raising the prices of the condos and putting more money into his pocket. Private beaches are a big selling point at Port St. Charles – even if they use the word “secluded” instead of “private”.

But that choice is a violation of the spirit of the law, if not the law itself. It is also a very visible and simple example of how the world is run when we let business people do whatever they want. Or when business people are allowed to donate as much money as they want to the governing political party without any rules, transparency or public accountability.

Ask Owen Arthur and Mia Mottley why the BLP government allowed Bizzy Williams to get away with creating a private beach. Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer!

Why The Barbados Government Killed The Ethanol Projects Favoured By The Previous BLP Government

Dear Bizzy, while your ethanol proposal involved constructing a plant to remove water from imported semi-processed ethanol, it shared many of the faults revealed by the European Union ethanol studies suppressed by the BLP government. There are concerns about the proximity to tourist beaches, potential for major spills, reliance upon copious amounts of already scarce fresh water, and the long-term cost-benefit viability of ethanol as a fuel. Tons and tons and tons – tens of thousands of gallons – of liquid toxic waste will be produced daily should the ethanol factory go ahead.

Not to mention that your proposal did not include a comprehensive environmental impact study or an economic study of the impact your factory would have upon tourism.

For all of those reasons and more, your project was refused.

Here are a few BFP articles you should read…

Barbados Government Kills Sugar Cane Ethanol Scam

Government Insider Thanks Barbados Free Press For Exposing Secret Ethanol Reports

The current Barbados Government has killed plans for a sugar-based ethanol industry – largely due to revelations by Barbados Free Press that the previous BLP government had covered up secret European Union reports showing that the Arthur-Mottley government’s ethanol plans were technically and economically not viable.

We are told that one of the first acts of newly minted Minister of Agriculture Haynesley Benn (photo above) was to ask to see ALL VERSIONS of the European Union sugar reports as first revealed in BFP’s article Secret European Union Reports Slam Barbados Ethanol Plan.

It didn’t take the Thompson Government very long to discover that the ethanol plan was a sham – and most likely just another scam to facilitate the transfer of tax revenues to greedy pockets with no appreciable benefit to Barbados and her citizens.

Our source who originally showed us the three different versions of one of the EU copies of the reports said…

“Thank you Barbados Free Press. Without your revelations the people who were pushing cane ethanol would have taken Barbados down the road to an economic and environmental disaster.”

Our Thanks To The Government Worker Who Risked Everything To Bring The Truth To Bajans

For three years as the mainstream Barbados news media jumped on the Arthur-Mottley Government’s cane ethanol bandwagon, a courageous government employee wrestled with the conflict between loyalty to the BLP government and duty to the people of Barbados. This government employee knew that cane ethanol was not viable for Barbados, and that the Arthur-Mottley government was deliberately concealing data and reports so they could justify a course of action that, according to our source, had the primary purpose of lining the pockets of certain very narrow interests.

By last August, the government employee decided that he must reveal the truth – but how? In the end he came to Barbados Free Press with his story, and the rest as they say, is history. When the new Agriculture Minister asked to see ALL VERSIONS of the secret European Union reports as mentioned in the Barbados Free Press article, that was the end for cane ethanol…

… continue reading this report LINK HERE

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Energy, Environment, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Sugar